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  1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Does anybody have experience of an Attended Hearing at COP??

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by tryingmybest, Jun 7, 2015.

  1. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    Just wondering if anyone has any experience of this please as I wish to post but unsure anyone can help as I need urgent advice. Thank you x
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,336
    Female
    South coast
    Usually the person applying does not need to attend the court hearing, so Im assuming that you do. Do you know why you are having to attend? Did you do this DIY, or is there a solicitor involved? Often its because someone who was notified (usually family) has lodged an objection. The idea of you attending court it to put your side of the story.

    Im afraid that my CoP application went smoothly, so I did not need to attend the hearing, but Im bumping this so others can see.
     
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,296
    Male
    North Manchester
  4. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    #4 tryingmybest, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
    All very traumatic. My mother moved in with me following my discovering huge financial abuse of her accounts by my sister during the short time she had been living there after her partners death. I moved her into live me with full knowledge of social services and police. She is really happy here and wishes to remain here.

    My sister has now applied for COP deputyship for finance, health and welfare, plus is trying to get a deprivation of liberty order to control where mum
    lives and who she has contact with. I'm terrified mum will be moved against her will if this goes ahead.

    I was not informed by my sister of her intentions but from the police who told me to object.

    I have been told by the court I have to go to an attended hearing next Wednesday. A journey of over 200 miles on a train with mum in tow which I'm not prepared to do.

    Just phoned COP and have been told to complete another form requesting I see the full application so I can see what exactly my sister is playing at and also request a later hearing in order to put further evidence together to fight this.

    I'm desperate. I can't afford a solicitor. I'm not sleeping and feel so ill and stressed. How could she do tho to my mum. It's incomprehensible. The police have put the investigation on hold until a deputyship is decided upon which seems ludicrous.
     
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,296
    Male
    North Manchester
    You need to put together evidence of any financial abuse and claim that your sister is not a fit person to act as deputy.

    You then will have to present this evidence to the court in the correct format.

    Try asking CAB or AgeUK for advice. It would be best to ring for an appointment so that you can explain the gist of your problem, this would enable them to arrange for their appropriate expert to see you, it would be helpful if you could take some documentary evidence with you.
     
  6. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    You should really request a later hearing date, you need the time to put evidence together, such short notice! Citizens Advice would be a good place to start for any help, make an appointment with someone who knows all about these things.
     
  7. Worried Nurse

    Worried Nurse Registered User

    Jan 30, 2013
    27
    Action for Carers or Age UK may be able to provide you and your mother with an advocate to provide you with practical advice in the absence of experiential advice from members here.
     
  8. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    #8 tryingmybest, Jun 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    I spoke to someone at COP yesterday and they told me to fill in a COP9 to request more time to gather evidence and postpone the hearing and to request a copy of the application so that I know in more detail what she has said. I can then prepare my witness statement and comment accordingly as at the moment I am only assuming and am somewhat in the dark. I was told to send my sister an email advising her of this. I have also requested a telephone hearing so that I don't have to do this awful journey with poor mum in tow to London. I cant believe she would do this to my mum. This is such a nightmare. It's hard enough caring for mum full time without all this upset. I'm not sleeping and continually worrying.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,336
    Female
    South coast
    Good, it sounds like the CoP are being helpful. Get that form sent off and then you can start to think about your witness statement. Get a few thoughts down and then you can revise and polish it once you have the copy of her application.
    I would have thought that the fact that she applied, but didnt add you to the list of people to be informed (even though mum is living with you) will not be in her favour. She may also have been "economical with the truth" about where mum was living. The main thing you will have to look at, though, is her statement as to why she should hold the deputyship.
    I would recommend that you contact CAB or AgeUK to see if there is anyone there who can advise you.
     
  10. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    TryingmyBest.
    Have sent you a message.
     
  11. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    Thank you. This whole thing is getting worse by the day. I have now discovered my sisters solicitor had failed to inform social services of the application until yesterday and they consequently have no time to get information together prior to the hearing on Wednesday. I feel this was deliberate. My request to the judge the other day to get another date to enable myself to get further evidence to them due to the shortness of time fell on deaf ears. So too did a request for a telephone hearing as I cant go to London for the day and leave my mum as I'm her sole carer. I have been advised to resend a request for the hearing to be rescheduled especially now I've discovered Social Services have only just heard about this and wish to write a report to support mine. Im worried if they dont change the date the case will be short of the necessary evidence to stop my sister getting what she wants. Its all more than I can bear, it really is. My sister even got her solicitor to write a defamatory letter about me which was sent to all my mums banks!! However I had already contacted them all and frozen her accounts to stop my sister stealing anymore money. I suppose I cannot blame the solicitor as she only knows the lies my sister has fabricated about me but its devastating as I'm the one who's trying to protect Mum. I'm just desperate. No sleep again last night certainly hasn't helped and the police adult safe guarding officer is doing absolutely nothing...in fact she too seems to believe all the lies and is treating me like the criminal!! Sorry to go on. Seems theres really nobody to help mum and I. I just feel so frustrated and alone. I'm terrified Mum will be removed from here and I will not see her again.
     
  12. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    1.Suggest you also ask Social Services themselves to write to the COP as a matter of urgency asking for more time so they can submit a report. That will carry weight.

    2.It maybe that before any judgements are made there is a preliminary hearing & further evidence may be required before a decision is made.

    3.Consider appointing a solicitor yourself. Initially see if you can get one that offers a free initial consultation or get legal advice from Age Concern etc. I wonder whether Legal Aid maybe possible?

    4 Keep focused on what really matters ..your Mum's best interests & try to anticipate & neutralise any allegations before they arise.

    5.Is there anyone who could babysit your mother for a day?
     
  13. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Sorry unlikely that this would qualify for Legal Aid. Civil matters are now very limited. However do check with a solicitor who has a current legal aid contract to be absolutely sure.

    Many solicitors do offer an initial free consultation, typically 30 minutes. Also our local Age UK had a free drop-in legal advice clinic once a week. If you do go down this route, get all the paperwork organised and think carefully what you want to ask beforehand so you can make best use of your appointment time.
     
  14. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    Absolutely in meltdown mode and desperate for help - time is running out

    Its all too late now for solicitors even if I had the money and nobody does legal aid or free half hour sessions anymore. I can only try to represent myself. The Judge has refused to postpone the hearing this coming Wednesday. I have been advised to try again to get them to change this by letting them know Social Sercies knew nothing about the application even though they were to be notified ( iwas not listed as someone to be notified!!) and their input is imperitive and will back up all my previous statement and evidence that Ive already sent.

    The thing is, now Ive seen the Application (there was a court order on 14th May for my sister and her solicitor to send me this and they only sent it two days ago to myself and social services), i) do I go back and forth in a new statement answering and commenting on all thats contained within or, ii) just add a few more facts onto my original statement or,iii) try and formulate a new document answering everything plus adding in the previous statement. Im so confused and have been sitting here hours not knowing what to do. My partner has written notes on the forms my sister has completed with his comments to help me but now Im unsure the most logical way to complete it all as if the judge once again refuses to change the hearing date, it will balance on my statement as I am unable to attend on the day.

    The reason the judge wants to have the hearing on wednesday is that my sister accused me of kidnapping my mother and removing her. The only reason I moved her here is she was seriously being financially abused and was desperately unhappy so on a day trip out, I didn't return her. This was all done with full knowledge of social services and the police who we visited that day and they phoned my sister at the time and told her. I have done nothing wrong. I just wanted to bring my mum home to me to safeguard her from this evil sister of mine.

    Please please can someone help me?
     
  15. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,296
    Male
    North Manchester
    Try and get written statements of the facts to support your case and attach them as evidence.
     
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,336
    Female
    South coast
    What I do if I have a lots of things that I want to include in a report is:
    1) write a list of all the things I want to include (put them on seperate post-notes if necessary)
    2) put the points in logical order as bullet points
    3) link them together in sentences
    4) read it through to make sure it sounds reasonable and logical.

    I dont know if that will help
     
  17. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    My problem is I've already done this all once and numbered all the paragraphs and linked each with a copy of evidence and sent it off. Now that I've received her application do you think I should respond under separate cover about all the things she has alleged? I don't want it to be tit for tat.its all so complicated with so many elements I'm unsure what additional things to put in and what to leave out!! Its hard to explain it all without becoming too long if you see what I mean. I don't want to write pages and pages and the judge gets bored and doesn't read it!!
     
  18. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    Don't worry about boring the judge, they're used to reading complex and lengthy documents!

    I would set out your response in the same order as the application which makes it easier to cross-reference. If what you want to say is already covered in your previous statement, you don't need to repeat it, just refer to the relevant paragraph(s) of the statement.
     
  19. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    #19 In a Whirl, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    I'm not surprised the Judge will not postpone the hearing if kidnapping has been alleged.

    The Law on Kidnapping: Where We Stand Now

    http://www.criminallawandjustice.co.uk/features/Simplifying-Law-Kidnapping

    The House of Lords defined the offence in terms of five necessary elements:

    The defendant carrying/taking away the victim
    This is the principal conduct element of the offence; some movement is a necessary element of the offence of kidnapping However, the victim can travel a comparatively short distance (as little as 100 yards) for this criterion to be fulfilled as long as he is accompanied by his assailant .

    The defendant’s use of force or fraud:

    In the opinion of the Law Commission the force element of the offence is satisfied “if there is coercion of the victim by physical means or by the threat [to the victim]” (consultation paper, p.22). By contrast, under the current law there is no precise definition of fraud in the context of kidnapping; the issue of when non-disclosure of pertinent information to the victim crosses the fraudulent threshold has not been resolved (ibid).

    The lack of the victim’s consent:
    This element is additional to the use of fear or fraud. If the defendant is to use consent as a defence, that consent must last throughout the conduct alleged to amount to the offence The victim must consent to the taking or carrying away that is actually carried out by the defendant. Consent may by vitiated by force, fraud or lack of capacity Consent can never be given by one party on behalf of another.

    The defendant’s lack of lawful excuse: A lawful excuse would include exercise of reasonable parental discipline, action in accordance with an order under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007, and arrest by a police officer.

    The defendant’s attack on the victim’s liberty:

    This provides both the rationale behind the criminalization of the conduct defined above, and also a necessary element of the offence. In order for this element to be present “the deprivation of liberty must occur simultaneously with the conduct nature of the offence” The secreting/detention of the victim is not a necessary condition of the offence of kidnapping it is, however, likely to be of evidential significance in the case against the defendant.

    OK. Four out of these five key elements you need to rebut as best you can & note that both Social Services & the Police are aware of your actions (Did you tell them voluntarily) & have not taken any action to remove your mother..I presume.

    For example,it might help if you could send the Judge a letter signed by your mother & independently witnessed that says she is happy to stay with you & has come of her own accord & that she is not deprived of her liberty.

    Your excuse for your actions you have probably mentioned already. ie your concerns.

    Hope this helps.
     
  20. tryingmybest

    tryingmybest Registered User

    May 22, 2015
    612
    Female
    #20 tryingmybest, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
    I moved her here after discovering the huge financial abuse at her request. She couldn't believe what my sister had done and said in front of the bank manager she didn't want to go back and wanted to come home with me. we immediately went to social services then the police to inform them. An independent private interview with mum on her own and a notetaker at ss confirmed mums wishes. Both police and ss visited here and confirmed they were happy with everything. I've not heard anything since. The police have put the fraud investigation on hold pending further information from the court hearing re deputyship at present.

    I also need to tell you that after my mums partners death, my sister removed mum from her home and took her to her home despite not having been in contact with mum for 10 years and it being mums wish to move to me. I believe did this purely to financially abuse her as bank statements prove. She did not inform me at the time nor social services!!!! I could not track mum down for two weeks. Once I found her I was denied any access to mum by my sister, not even phone calls which is typical behaviour of someone abusing someone, so then got the police and social services involved just so I could get to see her once a week which an advocate from age uk together with ss arranged for me. My mum on these visits constantly was telling me she was scared, unhappy where she was and all her statements and bank cards had been taken away and lots of purchases were being made when my sister did not work and she thought she was using her money.

    Everytime I took her back to my sisters house she cried and didn't want to go back. The day I saw a brand new car in the drive I took matters into my own hands and took mum to the bank where we discovered huge financial abuse including purchase of a £19,000 car!! . I froze all accounts and that was the day she moved in with me.

    I have since frozen all other accounts apart from the one her pension is paid into. DWP have removed my sister as Appointee in the light of the abuse as and appointed me to handle this account. Mum and I do this together, she has money and her card in her purse and I keep all receipts and an account book of all expenditure.

    I just hope the judge makes the right decision in Wednesday. Surely he would not allow my sister deputyship of mums affairs after this? And surely he would not take mum away from here where she is so happy and put her into the place where she was being abused again? It's all such a nightmare. What sort of person could be so full of hatred to be putting us through all this?
     
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